AAS Meeting #194 - Chicago, Illinois, May/June 1999
Session 31. Magnetic Reconnection and Prominence Formation
Oral, Monday, May 31, 1999, 2:00-3:30pm, Continental Ballroom A

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[31.01] Formation of Prominence Magnetic Field Structures

C. Z. Cheng, G. S. Choe (Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory)

Based on the 2-1/2D MHD model we have obtained magnetohydrostatic equilibria with current sheets and investigated the resistive MHD evolution of these discontinuous field structures. Depending on the global geometry of the current sheet equilibrium, two different field configurations favorable for prominence sitting are obtained: one with an X-point and one with an magnetic island hanging in the solar atmosphere. The local field configuration above the X-point in the former is similar to the Kippenhahn-Schlüter model although the polarity is inverse in our model. The field configuration with a magnetic island, in which the prominence material resides stably, resembles the prominence magnetic field model suggested by Malville. We will illustrate how the Malville type prominence configuration may offer a possibility to understand the 3D prominence chiral structure of barbs by introducing additional localized magnetic poles in the photosphere so that the flux rope may be distorted to form barbs attracted to the magnetic pole locations. We will also discuss the mechanism of prominence eruption by considering possible causes for force imbalance.

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